Michelle Dawson is an autistic researcher whose paper The Misbehaviour of Behaviourists placed her onto the global autism stage. Dawson has testified against the use of Applied Behavioral Analysis on the basis of serious ethical issues.
The Misbehaviour of Behaviourists
The Misbehaviour of Behaviourists: Ethical Challenges to the Autism-ABA Industry focuses on ethical issues in behaviorist treatment of autistic patients. Her critique discusses the highly negative treatment of autism, the lack of informed consent, its goals of normalizing at the expense of useful behaviors such as stimming, the aversives, scientific dishonesty, and the idea that autistic people do not deserve ethics.
The paper created an explosion of discussion, some in support for her ideas, others attacking her.
Dawson has little interest in politics.
Dawson's relationship with ASAN may still be strained, as suggested in a 2015 tweet of hers.
Neurodiversity and Autistic Culture
I don't have a "side," much less a "crusade" and do not have what it takes to be part of any "movement" much less a cultural one. Dawson has been falsely attributed as a member of the neurodiversity and autistic culture movements. She writes that she is only a researcher, and her focus is on ethics and human rights.
Some of her work has aligned with the neurodiversity movement, such as her article "Oxytocin versus autism: A cure for altruism" in which she noted a study in which autistic people showed a propensity towards fairness and against us-versus-them thinking (even at personal expense) and were less likely to be hypocritical or non-objective than neurotypicals were. When a dose of oxytocin caused autistic people to lose those attributes, she sarcastically called it a success.
Dawson remains very private about her personal life. What little information appears on Wikipedia has a hostile tone; on her blog she states "For the record: Almost everything about me on Wikipedia is wrong" without further elaboration.
Her profile is a picture of a butterfly and the words "I believe that autistics deserve better," with her listed interests as science, ethics, law, and autism.
- ↑ Google Scholar: Michelle Dawson
- ↑ Michelle Dawson: CV
- ↑ The Misbehaviour of Behaviourists: Ethical Challenges to the Autism-ABA Industry
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Autistics.org: Is One Allowed to Respond? Michelle Dawson Responds to Defamation of Her Character
- ↑ Autistics.org: Response to A Mother's Response
- ↑ Discussion: Nobody has been bullied as much as Michelle Dawson
- ↑ Autistics.org: In Support of Michelle Dawson and Her Work
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 The Autism Crisis: Autistic in the UK
- ↑ No Autistics Allowed: An Open Letter
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Elizabeth Svoboda's autism culture movement: A letter
- ↑ Tweet by Michelle Dawson @autismcrisis
- ↑ Oxytocin versus autism: A cure for altruism
- ↑ The Autism Crisis: Science and Ethics in the Era of Autism Politics
- ↑ Blogger: Michelle Dawson profile